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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Raleigh, North Carolina » Soybean and Nitrogen Fixation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #153945


item JAMES, A.
item Wilson, Richard
item Carter Jr, Thomas

Submitted to: Proceedings of the American Oil Chemists' Society
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/10/2004
Publication Date: 12/15/2004
Citation: Zhanglin, C., James, A.T., Miyazaki, S., Wilson, R.F., Carter Jr, T.E. 2004. The breeding of specialty soybeans for traditional and new soyfoods. p 264-322). Proceedings of the American Oil Chemists' Society.In Keshun (ed) Soybeans as a Functional Food.

Interpretive Summary: Soyfoods (i.e. foods made from soybean) have been a part of daily life in Asia for over 5000 years. This long relationship with soyfoods has been described as one of mankind's most enduring love affairs. Ancient Chinese writings tell us that this affair began modestly as a flirtation with soup made from soy leaves. Today, the relationship has blossomed to embrace the literally hundreds of tasty soyfoods dishes which are now available. The great diversity of soyfoods in the human diet is a remarkable tribute to humankind's enduring creative flair with food. Through trial and error, and continual refinement, perhaps 200 generations of Asian families have created and added their favorite recipes to the pages of the world's soyfoods cookbook. Tofu, natto, maodou (edamame), soymilk, soy sauce, and soy sprouts are but a few examples. In the context of this chapter, it should come as no surprise that the lengthy human endeavor to create better soyfoods has also produced a major effect on the essential ingredient of soyfoods, the soybean itself. We now know that the proliferation of soyfoods recipes and proliferation of genetic diversity in soybean occurred hand-in-hand on family farms. By 1900, Asian farmers had selected perhaps 40,000 soyfoods cultivars or landraces, many of which carried specific traits to enhance soyfoods preparation. Many of these traditional landraces have been preserved in agricultural germplasm banks and are being used extensively today by breeders to further improve soybean for soyfoods purposes. Recent advances in food technology have given rise to novel soyfoods such as soy ice cream, soy burgers and hotdogs, soy-substitute chicken nuggets, and soy-based baby foods. Genetic adaptation of soybean for these new uses is also underway. This chapter summarizes the history and current status of the breeding of specialty soybean cultivars for traditional as well as new soyfoods uses in the United States, China, Australia, and Japan. This review also provides a detailed list of publicly released soyfoods cultivars available from these countries. In addition, this chapter reviews factors and traits that determine current breeding strategy for various soyfoods markets, and suggests new avenues for designing future soyfoods cultivars which have improved seed composition .

Technical Abstract: In this chapter, the authors have review and discuss the history of genetic enhancement of soybean for soyfoods applications. Underlying factors which affect breeding strategy and selection targets are also reviewed for specific soyfoods. Future innovations in soyfoods technology will involve fundamental changes in the constituent composition of soybean seed. Much of the required technology to attempt this task is available. However, the simultaneous melding of all the genes that mediate desired changes in protein, oil and carbohydrate in an agronomic background will necessitate a long-term process for pyramiding these traits in a stepwise and orderly manner. Ultimately, soyfoods varieties will be distinguished as having seed with higher protein and oil, improved amino acid balance, increased sugar content, and increased protein functionality. The soybean meal used for new soyfoods products them will have stable isoflavone content, and possibly reduced oligosaccharides (and increased soluble sugars). Not withstanding important alterations in seed composition, the foremost feature of these cultivars must be very competitive yielding ability. This goal is attainable and will be achieved. Together, these innovations should stimulate market demand for soyfoods products.